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9-Year Old Girl Has To Take Ag Giant Cargill To Court To Get Justice

When the Minnesota-based Agricultural giant Cargill dumps on you…well it is not a pretty site. The privately-owned company still 85 percent controlled by the descendants of the MacMillan and Cargill families. It clicks off $1 billion in profits a quarter and its $120 billion in annual revenues would put it in the top 20 if it were publicly traded and eligible for the Fortune 500.

Between the 9th and 17ths of August, 2007, Cargill’s meat processing plant in Butler, Wisconsin produced frozen beef patties that were contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. Those patties mostly went to Walmart and Sam’s Club stores for sale to the general public. In October, 2007, Cargill recalled 850,000 pounds of the frozen beef. The E. coli contamination was discovered by the Minnesota food safety officials.

People in multiple states ate the poison. Today comes word that the family of 9-year old Ruth Hemmingson of Mahtomedi, MN has sued Cargill. The girl spent a month in St. Paul Children’s Hospital after her organs shut down from E coli poisoning.

Channel 5, the ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities, reports:

The family’s current medical bills and future medical needs are expected to top $4 million, according to the lawsuit. The company and the family could not agree on a settlement.

"You kind of stand there with your hands up in the air, somebody help us and take responsibility," said Ruth’s father, Art Hemmingson. "And that’s what we’re asking Cargill to do – is take responsiblity for what they’ve done."

"She’s the only nine-year-old I know who has a burial site. I mean, that’s how serious it got," said Leah Hemmingson, Ruth’s mother.

Ruth is among four Minnesota children who got sick after eating American Chefs Brand frozen beef patties.

Ruth’s lawyers are Sieben, Crose, Von Holtum & Carey in Minneapolis and Marler Clark in Seattle. So far, there’s been no comment from Cargill.

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